Want to apply to study music at university but not sure what to put in your personal statement? We asked Dr Adam Behr, the admissions tutor here at Newcastle University, what he looks for in the perfect personal statement.
Here are his 5 top tips for writing a personal statement for music.
You have a limited amount of space so steer clear of very general statements such as “I have loved music since the day I was born”. We already know about your passion for Music, given that you are applying to study it. Use the statement to set yourself apart from others, to tell us about your music and why you want to study on your chosen course.
Enthusiasm is good, and welcome, but your statement needs to convey evidence of achievement – or potential. Tell us about places you’ve played, recordings you’ve made, tours, etc. It’s great to read about what you like, but even better to see what you’ve done about it in practical terms. You don’t need to list everything you’ve done but please do include your key achievements.
Music degree programmes balance performance and musical practice with academic study. We are looking for evidence of your potential to study, think and write about music, as well as perform it. What books, articles, blogs etc. have you read or written that are relevant? Do you have any theories about music of your own that you hope to develop during your studies. It makes a difference if your application shows that you can play, think and communicate intelligently about music.
Try to avoid just giving us a list of gigs attended or played and of books you might have read. If you can integrate and link all of this information we can get a clearer sense of how your study/practice of music have informed one another. We also like to know where you might hope to take your music study and practice in the future.
It sounds obvious but we have received many statements that haven’t been proof read. You want to present yourself in the best possible light and this is a really good way of ensuring that all your hard work comes across well. Make sure to check your spelling, grammar and formatting so that your statement is easily read and does you and your application justice.